By Simon Jackson.
An ambitious programme has been mapped out for Thistle Bird after her second successive win in the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom.
Trainer Roger Charlton had persuaded the mare’s owner, Lady Rothschild, to keep the daughter of Selkirk in training and was rewarded with a tenacious length victory in the opening race on Oaks day.
The victory in the eight and a half furlong contest was the six-year-olds seventh in 19 starts. She is now likely to target feature races at Goodwood or the Curragh, with a possible trip to the United States also mooted.
“We went up to a mile and a quarter last year and that’s what she will do again, with all the same sort of races and maybe go for the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh or the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood,” Charlton revealed.
“What we really need to do is win a Group 2 and/or a Group 1. A Group 2 would be nice and to be placed in another Group 1 would be fantastic.
“We’ve got to keep trying in the Group 1s and we could go to America.
“First time out both this year and last she ran too fresh and green but today she was relaxed. She’s very consistent and whereas she’s been quirky in the past she is a nice, sensible, sweet filly now.
“I persuaded the owner (Lady Rothschild) to keep her in training for another year and I hope she is going to be rewarded.
“There has been a bit of debate about wearing a hood. Last year, she ran here with the hood on and she ran at Ascot with the hood on – when she ran badly. We took the hood off after that and she continued on her way. Earlier in the spring, I worked her with a hood and she worked really badly, so I thought I would leave if off.”
Doyle added: “She feels every bit as good as last year, if not better.
“I said to Mr Charlton earlier in the year, when she first started working, she feels like she has gotten stronger. I think that she has improved with age.
“She improved throughout last year and you have to forgive her first run. She’s a very highly strung filly, who has a strong will, and needs that run to take the edge of her. She is so straightforward and today was brilliant, it worked out great.”
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